Last Modified On:
May 29, 2023

The Perfect Lemon Drop Shot Recipe

Looking to master the art of the perfect Lemon Drop shot? Discover tips, variations, and step-by-step instructions for the ultimate Lemon Drop shot experience.

3 minutes

Are you tired of the same old shots at every party? Look no further than the classic Lemon Drop Shot. This simple yet delicious concoction has been around for decades, and for good reason. In this post, we will take you through the history behind the Lemon Drop Shot and provide you with a foolproof lemon drop shot recipe that's easy to make at home.

We will also be sharing some tips and tricks on how to make the perfect shot, including selecting the best vodka, garnish ideas, and even making a large batch for your next gathering. If you're feeling adventurous, we've got you covered with variations of this classic shot using different types of vodka and flavors. And if you're looking to expand your cocktail repertoire, we've included some other fun drink recipes as well.

So let's get started with making the perfect Lemon Drop Shot!

Lemon Drop Shot Recipe

Get ready to embark on a flavorful adventure as you prepare to make a tantalizing Lemon Drop shot. Before you dive into the world of citrusy goodness, take a moment to gather your ingredients and equipment. Clear your space, ensuring you have a shot glass, a cocktail shaker, a jigger or measuring tool, a citrus juicer or reamer, sugar for rimming, and a lemon wedge or twist for garnish. Ready your taste buds for a harmonious blend of vodka, fresh lemon juice, and sweet simple syrup. Brace yourself for the burst of tangy delight that awaits. Get your mixing skills ready, as we guide you through each step of the process to create the perfect Lemon Drop shot.


Ready to add some zest to your night? Get ready for a tantalizing Lemon Drop shot that will have your taste buds doing the happy dance! Here's the lineup of ingredients to whip up this citrusy concoction:

  • Vodka - 1 1/2 ounces
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 ounce
  • Simple syrup - 1/2 ounce
  • Sugar - for rimming the glass
  • Lemon wedge or twist - for garnish

Optional ingredient:

  • Lemon-flavored liqueur (e.g., Limoncello) - 1/2 ounce (for added flavor)

Note: Some variations of the Lemon Drop shot may include additional ingredients such as triple sec or orange liqueur. However, the classic lemon drop shot recipe outlined above is the most common version with simple ingredients.

Equipment Needed

  • Shot glass - for serving the shot
  • Cocktail shaker - to mix the ingredients
  • Jigger or measuring tool - for precise measurement of the liquids
  • Citrus juicer or reamer - to extract fresh lemon juice
  • Sugar - for rimming the shot glass
  • Lemon wedge or twist - for garnish
  • Ice - for chilling the shot

Mixing Steps

  1. Prepare the shot glass: Rim the shot glass with sugar by dipping the rim in water or running a lemon wedge around the rim, then dipping it in sugar. Set the glass aside.
  2. Fill the shaker: Add ice to the cocktail shaker.
  3. Add the ingredients: Pour 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup into the shaker. Optionally, add 1/2 ounce of lemon-flavored liqueur for extra flavor.
  4. Shake it up: Close the shaker tightly and shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. This helps mix and chill the ingredients.
  5. Strain into the shot glass: Remove the top of the shaker and strain the mixture into the sugar-rimmed shot glass.
  6. Garnish and serve: Finish off your Lemon Drop shot by garnishing it with a lemon wedge or twist. Serve it immediately and enjoy!
lemon drop shot recipe

Tips and tricks for making the perfect lemon drop shot

Unlock the secrets to crafting impeccable Lemon Drop shots with these invaluable tips:

  • When using lemon wedges, gently squeeze them into the shaker to release their flavorful essence.
  • For a visually appealing presentation, garnish each shot with a delicate lemon slice.
  • To rim the shot glass with sugar, pour some granulated sugar onto a shallow plate, then carefully roll the rim of the shot glass in the sugar to create a sweet and decorative coating.
  • Alternatively, if you prefer a more subtle sweetness, substitute the granulated sugar with a sugar cube and follow the same rimming process.
  • Ensure the sugar coating adheres firmly to the glass by gently pressing and rotating it against the sugar on the plate.

By incorporating these tips into your Lemon Drop shot-making process, you'll elevate the taste, aesthetics, and overall experience of this beloved cocktail. Enjoy the delightful fusion of citrusy flavors and the visual appeal of a perfectly rimmed glass. Let your creativity shine as you indulge in the art of crafting exceptional Lemon Drop shots.

No Simple Syrup? No Problem

No worries if you don't have simple syrup on hand! You can easily whip up a batch of homemade simple syrup using just two common ingredients: sugar and water. Here's your own simple syrup recipe to make at home:


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a saucepan, combine equal parts sugar and water. For example, if you want to make a smaller batch, you can use 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved. This usually takes a few minutes. Avoid bringing the mixture to a boil.
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the simple syrup cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer the simple syrup to a clean, airtight container. You can use a glass jar or a bottle with a tight-fitting lid. It's now ready to use!
  5. Store the homemade simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Now you have your own homemade simple syrup to add a touch of sweetness to your Lemon Drop shots and various other cocktails.

Selecting The Best Vodka to Use

For the perfect lemon drop shot, it's essential to select good quality vodka that won't overpower the lemony goodness. Using fresh and citrus-infused vodka enhances the tartness and sweetness of the cocktail.

While personal preferences may vary, here is a list of popular vodkas that are often recommended for making Lemon Drop shots:

  1. Absolut Citron - Known for its smoothness and distinct lemon flavor, Absolut Citron is a popular choice for Lemon Drop shots.
  2. Grey Goose - This premium vodka is renowned for its exceptional quality and smoothness, making it a great option for crafting sophisticated and well-balanced Lemon Drop shots.
  3. Ketel One Citroen - Ketel One Citroen offers a refreshing citrus-infused vodka that pairs perfectly with the lemony profile of a Lemon Drop shot. It delivers a crisp and clean taste.
  4. Stoli Lemon - Stoli Lemon is a flavored vodka that combines the essence of lemon with the smoothness of traditional vodka. It provides a vibrant and authentic lemon taste to your shots.
  5. Belvedere Citrus - Belvedere Citrus vodka is crafted using lemons and limes from Mediterranean orchards. It brings a zesty and bright citrus character to your Lemon Drop shots.
  6. Tito's Handmade Vodka - This gluten-free vodka is known for its smoothness and versatility. Its clean flavor profile allows the lemony elements of a Lemon Drop shot to shine.

Remember to choose a vodka that suits your personal taste preferences and budget. The above options are popular choices that many enjoy for crafting delicious and refreshing Lemon Drop shots. Cheers!

Different Garnish Ideas

Elevate your lemon drop shot by trying out fun and creative garnishes! Swap out the classic sugar rim for a slice of lemon or wedge for an added burst of tartness. Want something completely unique? Try topping it off with rock candy sticks or fruit slices. Don't forget to take into account the overall presentation! Impress your friends at your next party with this delicious and visually stunning cocktail.

Making a Large Batch

For your next party, impress your guests with the best way to make a large batch of lemon drop shots! Combine good quality vodka, fresh lemon juice, and your own homemade simple syrup in a stainless steel shaker with ice cubes for that extra lemony goodness. Once mixed well, pour it into shot glasses with sugar rims and add a lemon wedge for presentation. Don't forget to chill before serving! For a unique twist on this classic cocktail, add some citrus zest or experiment with different garnishes like fruit slices or edible flowers.

lemon drop shots

Variations of lemon drop shots

Here are some exciting variations of the classic Lemon Drop shot that you can try:

  1. Blueberry: Add a splash of blueberry liqueur or muddle fresh blueberries in the shaker before mixing the other ingredients. The blueberry infusion adds a fruity twist to the traditional Lemon Drop shot.
  2. Raspberry: Incorporate raspberry vodka or muddle fresh raspberries in the shaker to infuse the shot with a delightful berry flavor. The combination of tangy lemon and sweet raspberries creates a vibrant and refreshing taste.
  3. Spicy: Infuse your shot with a kick of heat by adding a dash of spicy chili liqueur or a few slices of jalapeño. The spicy element balances perfectly with the tartness of the lemon, creating a fiery twist on the classic.
  4. Lavender: Introduce a touch of floral elegance by incorporating a lavender-infused simple syrup or a splash of lavender liqueur. The fragrant notes of lavender complement the citrusy essence of the Lemon Drop shot.
  5. Coconut: Enhance the tropical vibes by using coconut-flavored vodka or adding a splash of coconut rum. The combination of coconut and lemon creates a luscious and exotic twist on the classic shot.
  6. Ginger: Incorporate a zing of ginger by muddling fresh ginger or adding ginger liqueur to the mix. The spicy and citrusy blend of flavors offers a unique and invigorating take on the traditional lemon drop shot recipe.

Other fun cocktail and shot drink recipes

For a twist on the classic lemon drop shot, try these other fun cocktail and shot drink recipes that are perfect for any occasion. Impress your guests with Miami Vice Cocktails or Espresso Martinis made with fresh ingredients and good quality vodka. Share the recipe card on email, Facebook, or Pinterest and don't forget to garnish with a lemon wedge or slice for an added touch of citrus freshness.

Miami Vice Cocktail

For a colorful twist on your next party, try making a Miami Vice cocktail! Combine the fruity flavor of a pina colada with the tangy taste of strawberry daiquiri in one drink. Compose this drink by blending frozen strawberries, rum, lime juice, and simple syrup to create the daiquiri layer. Combine coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum to create the pina colada layer. Layer both drinks in your favorite stainless steel shaker or another container to create this lemony goodness without using lemon drop shot recipe.

Espresso Martini

For those who love coffee and cocktails combined into one delicious drink, try making an Espresso Martini. This classic cocktail is made by shaking together vodka with coffee liqueur and freshly brewed espresso in a stainless steel shaker filled with ice cubes. Once you've given it a good shake, strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and garnish with some chocolate shavings or espresso beans for that extra touch of sweetness.

FAQs about making lemon drop shots

If you're looking to switch up your cocktail game, try making a lemon drop shot. Wondering if you can substitute vodka? Or if the glassware matters? We've got your answers and more in this FAQ section on making the perfect lemon drop shot recipe.

Can you substitute the vodka with another liquor?

While vodka is the traditional liquor for lemon drop shots, you can substitute it with gin or tequila. The choice of liquor affects the flavor profile, so consider one that complements the other ingredients. Gin adds a botanical taste, while tequila adds a smoky and earthy flavor. Experimentation can lead to exciting variations of the classic lemon drop shot recipe.

Does the type of glassware matter?

While the taste of a drink is crucial, the presentation can be just as important. Choosing the right glassware, such as a shot or martini glass for lemon drop shots, can enhance its visual appeal. Chilling the glass can also keep the drink colder for longer, but ultimately, the choice of glassware depends on personal preference and occasion.

When were Lemon Drop shots invented?

The exact origin of Lemon Drop shots is unclear, but they gained popularity in the 1970s. The drink is believed to be a variation of the classic Lemon Drop cocktail, which has been enjoyed since the mid-20th century.

What is Lemon Drop shots made of?

Lemon Drop shots are made of vodka, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. The ingredients are mixed together in a shaker with ice, then strained into a shot glass. The rim of the glass is often coated with sugar, and a lemon wedge or twist may be added for garnish.


In conclusion, the perfect lemon drop shot is a classic cocktail that everyone should try making at least once. It's easy to make and customizable to your taste preferences. From selecting the right vodka, using homemade simple syrup, and garnishing with creative ideas, you can elevate this drink to the next level. If you're feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different variations of lemon drop shots or check out other fun cocktail and shot recipes like Miami Vice and Espresso Martini. And don't forget to read our FAQs section for any queries you may have about making lemon drop shots. Ready to impress your friends? Try making a batch of lemon drop shots today and share your creations on social media!